The NSW Department of Justice (NSWDOJ) is the governing body of corrective services in NSW and aspire to build stronger communities through crime reduction, education, andc rehabilitation.
In a corrective services facility, the control of disease is paramount to ensure the safety of a prison population. COVID-19 presented a dynamic challenge for facility operators who needed to balance the social requirements of inmates with the strict Government response to the pandemic NSWDOJ needed provide inmates with the ability to retain social bonds with friends and family remotely via video conferencing tools while also adhering to Government requirements made available through personal inmate tablets.
Ericom was previously engaged by NSWDOJ in collaboration with Telstra and the American offender technologies provider GTL to complete a comprehensive overhaul of the legacy inmate telephone systems. Ericom were subsequently engaged to roll out the inmate tablet project that had been slated for completion in 2021/22.
While the scope of the inmate tablet project had been mapped out as part of our initial tender for NSWDOJ Ericom needed to respond quickly and efficiently due to the urgent nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. The turnaround for this project was significantly shorter than a standard rollout. Ericom worked closely with NSWDOJ to deliver the project from solution design, implementation, documentation and support process creation over a matter of days.
Ericom continues provide managed service support and maintenance of the tablets.
The outcome has been the successful delivery of 500 inmate tablets with 110 more on the way. NSWDOJ saw a positive take-up by end users. Within the first few week’s inmates were booking up to 3,000 sessions per week and within a month they were booking over 1,200 sessions per day on average.
The responsiveness and energy invested upfront was critical to ensure a smooth transition during a very difficult time. Ericom have provided comprehensive device installation and support and have been responsive to the changing needs of NSWDOJ as they navigate and adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19.